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(en) Russia, IV Black Petrograd-festival 17th-18th of November, 2007

Date Wed, 28 Nov 2007 15:57:05 +0200

This year there was two days of program for Black Petrograd-festival, in Saturday there was a movie screening and discussions, in sunday a concert. There was no street action this year. In Saturday, first there was a movie screening of "I the film" with Russian subtitres, film is about Indymedia of Argentine. Following this, there were parallel workshops on anarchist organisation in education industry and and another workshop on responsibility. Education industry workshop was attended activists of "Alterkom" - alternative student union of Petrozhavodsk, people from "Free university" of St. Petersburg, Moscow Student Initiative and others. This discussion was continued in another location next day, some plans for common upcoming actions and networking were made.

"Responsibility"-workshop discussed sublimation of protest by reckless use
of intoxicants, which arises due to unapability of taking concrete actions
which gain visible results, as well as level of respect, responsability and
trust in various groups and anarchist movement in general.

After first discussions, one of the St. Petersburg Food Not Bombs groups
feed participators.

It must be said, that as there were up to 100 people participating to events
of first day but we could only use one room, many people found it hard to
participate to or even listen discussions due to backround noise. Event was
organised in one of the countless "palaces of culture" of the city, which
are of Soviet heritage, thus their design reflects Soviet understanding of
community - chairs form a hierarchical row, where subjects were to listen
pompous speeches of local politruks. There is nothing in architecture of
these buildings which would make it easy to use them for self-organisation
of the community which they supposedly serve, but organisers of the Black
Petrograd had little choice in picking the place.

Next discussion was about "tactics and strategy of the anarchist movement".
Participators splitted to four groups, which were proposed following 4
general directions for a discussion - evaluation of inter-regional
gatherings such as Black Petrograd, communication infrastructure of the
movement, role of formal organisations and organisation of summer camps in
the future, taking into account the tragedy in Angarsk.

All of the groups kept in proposed topics (which was not obligatory), it
turned out that discussion on communication infrastructure was most popular.
In contrast, only two groups discussed formal organisations - this reflects
the fact that electronic communication networks have made many functions of
formal organisations obliterate. A proposition to organise a summer protest
camp at outdated, Chernobyl-type nuclear power plant of Sosnoviy Bor near
St. Petersburg came up.

After these, a member of new left "Pyotr Alekseyev Resistance Movement" made
a speech, talking about recent struggles of postal and dock workers, as well
as workers of Ford plant in St. Petersburg, calling anarchists to support
workers' struggles. Two short videos of anti-fascists actions in St.
Petersburg were shown, after these there was another speech calling for a
coordination meeting of St. Petersburg anarchist initiatives the following
week, an attempt to coordinate activities of different initiatives in the

Last two workshops were on planning of anti-electionary activities around
upcoming Duma and presidential elections in Russia, as well as a short crash
course on protesting rights and behaviour in interrogation by Moscow ABC. A
practical workshop immediately followed the theory, when cops attempted to
harrass participators leaving the building. By collective action and
decisive solidarity, arrests were avoided.

Next day there was a succesful concert to audience of 150, where distros
were organised and groups Brigadir (SPB), Kranshteyn (SPB), Krasniy Gorizont
(Kirov), Angry Lumpens (SPB), Crowd Control (SPB) and PolitZek (Moscow)

(Source: http://avtonom.org/index.php?nid=1317)
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